Newton goes to Oscars: This was totally unexpected, says director Amit Masurkar
One of the best rated Hindi films in recent months, Newton is all set to begin its journey to the Oscars as it’s declared as India’s official entry to the competition.
The film - featuring Rajkummar Rao in the lead - offers a humorous take on India’s electoral system and how people in remote areas don’t get the benefit of the government’s policies.
Amit V Masurkar, the director of the film, says he didn’t expect this news. He says, “This was totally unexpected for me, because I didn’t even know we were part of the competition. I think somebody from the office entered our name into it and I only came to know when somebody called me today.”
There couldn’t be a better timing as Newton hit the screens today. Amit says, “This is the best that could have happened. If it was released today and the announcement came two months later, it could still have been a good thing, but that wouldn’t have helped in creating a good buzz. Our publicity budget was pretty modest, so not many would have known about it.”
He adds, “I think people are interested in making the story more known. It’s one of the rarely told stories on the Indian screens. We have received a lot of support from the industry and critics.”
But the road to the Oscars is not easy, from here on a clear-cut strategy is needed. “It’s the first time we will be doing it, so we need to figure it out. It would be a learning experience, but we are backed by solid producers like Manish Mundra and Aanand L Rai. I have faith in them,” adds Masurkar.
Now, when it comes to a proper roadmap, who could be better than the producer Manish Mundra to answer the question? Manish says, “I am very elated. It’s a long journey but definitely a moment of pride. It gives us confidence that whatever we are doing is good.”
He adds, “We are yet to devise a strategy about how to move forward. We will try to raise enough fund to make our presence felt, so that influencers can watch the film and talk about it. I am sure if the influencers like it and the foreign media picks it then we can reach to the point where we can put up a fight. Most of them are based in the US, so we will also try for a quick release there.”
It’s been a while since any Indian film made a good buzz at the Oscars. Let’s see if Newton can be the next film to do so.
The author tweets at Twitter/@nawabjha